14th FINA World Championships logo

14th FINA World Championships logo

Swimming pool racing time has arrived. After months of hard training and preparation, the expected moment is here. Tomorrow at nine in the morning the female swimmers taking part in the 100 m butterfly of the 14th FINA World Championships will dive into the pool of the magnificent Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, and the best swimmers of the world will be racing against eachother and against time for the next eight days. Excitement guaranteed!

I have been in Shanghai with the Spanish swimming team for seven days now. We flew from Madrid or Barcelona to Helsinki last Saturday, then Helsinki to Shanghai, arriving on Sunday after a very comfortable flight with plenty of leg space for everyone. The swimmers are looking great. They followed the recommendations I had given them a few weeks in advance to facilitate their adaptation to the new time zone, so this key issue was solved quite smoothly. They have also been very careful regarding their hydration status, another key issue considering the environmental conditions: extreme heat and humidity outdoors, cool and dry in air conditioned locations. All three training pools we used this past week were good; transport to and from the pool mostly on time; the hotel is excellent and food choices plenty. The athletes, coaches and support staff have also had time to relax a couple of afternoons and go for a tour of the city or do some shopping. Everyone has managed to stay in good health and comply with the training programs prescribed by the coaches. Sport science support is as good as it gets, and the spirits are high. What all this means is that in normal circumstances there can be no excuses. Performance should reflect the quality of the preparation process. Whatever those performances turn out to be, we will all be responsible.

Let the racing begin!

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